About this Show

Fault Lines

Baltimore Anatomy of an American City News/Business. Seb Walker, Josh Rushing, Wab Kinew. (2013) The dynamics of race, poverty and incarceration in Baltimore, a city on the front line of America's war on drugs. New. (CC) (Stereo)

DURATION
00:31:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel v107

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Baltimore 11, America 6, Lamar 3, United States 3, Obama 3, Maryland 3, Us Department Of Justice 2, Morsi 2, Cumberland 2, Jazeera America 2, Baltimore City 2, Al Jazeera America 2, Bush 2, Richard Nixon 1, Ronald Reagan 1, Neill Franklin 1, Michelle Alexander 1, Baltimore City Detention Center 1, Civil Rights 1, Bethlehem Steel 1,
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  Al Jazeera America    Fault Lines    Baltimore Anatomy of an American City  News/Business. Seb  
   Walker, Josh Rushing, Wab Kinew.  (2013) The dynamics of...  

    August 24, 2013
    7:00 - 7:31pm EDT  

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>> welcome to al jazeera. i am thomas dradon. here are tonight's top stories. in syria, the international humanitarian group, doctors without borders say medics have treated more than 3600 patients for neuro toxic stems consistent with those to exposure of chemical weapons. >> tens of thousands gathered to mark the 50th anniversary on the march on washington. martin luther king, jr.'s iconic i have a dream speech. >> the rim wild pfeiffer is moving into yosemite park after destroying more than 200 square miles. flames are threatening san francisco's power and water systems prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency in that city. people in egypt are still under a nightly curfew but the interim
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government has shortened it. the cur few that went into effect at 3:00 o'clock eastern time will last nine hours except on fridays when it will remain 11 hours long. those are your headlines here on al jazeera. fault line starts next. as always, check us out on the web at al jazeera.com.
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what happens when social media uncovers unheard, fascinating news stories? >>they share it on the stream. >>social media
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isn't an afterthought. it drives discussion across america. >>al jazeera america social media community, on tv and online. >>this is your outlet for those conversations. >>post, upload, and interact. >>every night, share undiscovered stories. every sunday night al jazeera america presents gripping films from the world's top documentary directors. >> this is just the beginning of
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something much bigger. >> thank god i didn't have to suffer what he had to go through. >> this sunday, the premiere of "into eternity". >> i am now in this place where you should never come. >> how do you contain 100,000 years of nuclear danger? >> it is an invisible danger. >> al jazeera america presents "into eternity". premieres sunday night 9 eastern. >> baltimore wasn't always a city in decline. it was once a shipping powerhouse, one of the largest seaports of the mid-atlantic states, and a major center of industrial manufacturing. >> in the late '60s, baltimore had industries like bethlehem steel, a huge ship-building industry, a very active port. >> neill franklin is a retired police major who spent 34 years in law enforcement. he's seen the decay first hand. >> late '60s, early '70s mainly, jobs started leaving baltimore.
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industries started leaving, going overseas, wherever it ended up. it just wasn't here in baltimore anymore. but it was also around that time that richard nixon decided that he was going to start a war against public enemy number one: drugs. >> but it was president ronald reagan who turned that rhetorical war into a literal one. >> you have to show that you have a drug criminal problem. so how do you do that? through arrests. >> at a time when drug crime was actually on the decline, not on the rise. >> we went crazy arresting people for crack cocaine because of this so-called epidemic that we were having. >> incarceration rates began to just soar off the charts. >> and we just put tons of black people in prison from our inner-cities. ungodly numbers. >>more arrests meant more federal money. it's the system that still
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exists today - in the form of federal job stimulus and other us department of justice grants for crime control and community policing. >> it's not a war on drugs. don't ever think it's a war on drugs. it's a war on the blacks. it started as a war on the blacks. it's now spread to hispanics and poor whites. but initially it was a war on blacks. it was designed basically to take that energy that was coming out of the civil rights movement and destroy it. >> we have over 10 million people now with records. so come on. the next 10 years we'll have 10 more million? 100 more million? i mean come on. we've got to stop at some point and say, "you know what? you know, people change." we have to fight for rehabilitation, for our chances for people to change. for opportunity. >>according to a 2003 report from the bureau of justice, if current incarceration rates
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remain unchanged, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. >> even in the age of obama, something akin to a caste system is alive and well in america. the mass incarceration of poor people of color is tantamount to a new caste system, one specifically designed to address the social, political and economic challenges of our time. >> michelle alexander is a law professor who says that the disproportionate numbers of black people in prison in america today is akin to a new system of social control comparable to slavery. she says that while president obama has made some positive steps like signing legislation that reduced sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine, where it really counts, obama has not broken from the past. >> but the reality is, is that obama's drug control budget looks like the bush administration's. the ratio in funding vested in enforcement as
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opposed to prevention or drug treatment is about the same as the bush administration's. >> in the last couple of decades the prison population across the united states has risen dramatically. we just passed three prisons seemingly right next to each other. we're about to visit one of those facilities where many of the inmates are from the city of baltimore. america incarcerates more people than any other country on earth. one in every one hundred us citizens is behind bars. the state of maryland is no exception - the prisons here are full.
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how's it going? sebastian walker for al jazeera. >> nice to meet you. >> i'm here at the roxbury correctional institution to meet dominique stevenson. she helped start a prisoner-led program called "friend of a friend." it teaches long-term prisoners how to mentor younger inmates coming in with shorter sentences. >> the fact that there is no economic development, there are no jobs, and that leads to the despair that you're talking about. and so you still have to deal with that reality, that the same things brought you in here, exist out there for them. >> and i believe that the corruption that exists, particularly where i'm from, from out of baltimore city, from a lot of political officials going all the way up to the corrupt president of the united states, for real, because i believe no one actually care about the poor no more. you know it's all about the rich getting richer and we aint' getting nothing. not a damn thing. >> if you black you going to
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jail. if they stop you, they gonna do something drastic to you. that's how it is. that's how it's always been. that's why the prison is filled with all of us and not them. >> william haskins says he's serving a 42-year sentence for multiple armed robberies. >> everybody is in on the suffering and the misery of those devastating numbers of african american men and women that are coming to prison. everybody got their hand out and they're making money. >> he was 19 when he was first locked up. he hopes to make parole this year. how many jails have you been to in the last 28 years? >> oh my god, there's ah... every one except cumberland. >> every one in the state? >> yeah, except cumberland. but then they... my goodness. i always got my mind set on that one thing. going home. >> going home? >> yeah, going home. >> there's so much damage built up , that it'll take generations to heal
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what's happened. i mean, this is a war, so you're going to have casualties. and the casualties are not bodies on the street, though there are those. it's what's happening to like the children. you know the damage that we do to these kids is profound. >> the streets fathered me. my mother couldn't raise me to be no man. the streets taught me that. and the way the streets taught me was that was the way the streets taught me. due to the fact, no high school education. no college education. probably couldn't even be able to get a job at mcdonald's. >> this is lamar - it's not his real name. he's agreed to talk to us if we disguise his identity. lamar has been a drug dealer and a gang member. he's currently awaiting trial, charged with attempted murder. >> i'm facing life in prison. if i lose most likely i'm going to do life or somewhere close to that. if i win, i walk. i walk and i'll be a man walking the street. before the attempted murder i got shot five times.
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>> lamar's drug operation is on hold while he's out of jail on pretrial supervision, one way that maryland has dealt with overcrowding of the prison system. the reason he deals is simple - he does it he says because it's the only way he knows to support his family. and guns are just a tool of the trade. >> it's something that's immune to me. like, this is the way i be living probably since i was 16 years old. so i'm immune, i'm used to it now. see what i'm saying. >> if you lived in a mining town, you would go into the coal mines. this is all you know, and this is all they know. so they're going into this. well, they know the dangers there. but what they have is no choice. and the way the game is rigged, they can't win. i mean the number of guys that actually survive the corner, to get into mid-level drug dealing, so they can get away from the corner, they're few and far between. >> hopefully i'll could be in a position, a better position where i could find something
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positive to do. but if i have nothing to do, then i will have to resort to what i know. you feel what i'm saying? like, what else am i going to do?
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sure that stories
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news stories?ries >>they share it on the stream. >>social media isn't an afterthought. it drives discussion across america. >>al jazeera america social media community, on tv and online. >>this is your outlet for those conversations. >>post, upload, and interact. >>every night, share undiscovered stories. >> growing up in a poor neighborhood in baltimore means the odds are stacked against you. >> and so we have a school to prison pipeline operating in baltimore and in other cities across the nation where young people believe with some good
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reason that their destiny lies behind bars and they, too, will become members of the under-caste. >> females is getting pregnant and they're having children. now it's children raising children. without no high school education, how are they going to take care of that child? you see what i'm saying? >> my mother was a child when she had us, you know. my mother told me she hated me, you know, and to get out of her face before she'd kill me. that had an impact on me. >> no one's thinking about, "let's look at these infants. let's help these infants out. let's help these mothers out so that these kids are raised in a healthy environment. let's put the money there rather than put it into like the back end." you know, $25,000 per prisoner, per year. in the federal system it's probably something like 30 something thousand per year. that's where we're putting our
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money. >> a lot of the guys in baltimore were basically raised with no father. so when you don't have a male figure, role model type of guy to follow, then you start resorting to other male figures. tv, streets, homeboys who are probably four or five years older than you. >> if we don't have that family foundation, you know, you definitely don't have a chance. >> these kids are just chewed up and spit out. and they're broken, they get the criminal record, they can't get jobs, you know they go to prison, they come home. the same thing repeats itself until their bodies eventually break down. >> it was kind of scary coming through. 'cause when you first come in you're just with like all adults, you're just surrounded by adults that are in bad moods because they're getting locked up. like it's just a bad experience. >> located in the very heart of
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the city, the baltimore city detention center is one of the largest pretrial detention facilities in the united states. >> the showers are dirty, the toilets are dirty. everything is just dirty. >> it's intended for adults, but under harsh "get-tough" laws passed in maryland and some other states, juveniles charged as adults are also held here. fifteen to a room, they're held indoors for about 23 hours per day. anthony thomison was just 16 years old when he was arrested for armed robbery and charged as an adult. he was ultimately cleared of all charges, but while waiting five months for trial, he wasn't attending school - he was in baltimore city det ention center. >> for some people you get stronger, for some people you just go crazy. like there's people in there that you know once they got in there they wanted to do more stuff than they were doing when they were home. especially being around adults and the adults are going in
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there, they kind of think it's what you're supposed to do. like, they kind of get adapted to it. >> the us department of justice agrees that spending nearly half a year in a crumbling adult facility can violate anthony's constitutional rights. but the state's proposed solution is a brand new, 100 million dollar jail for minors charged as adults, which the city plans to build on this site. >> i mean the stress is just unbearable. you got to go through every day just thinking about how much time that you could get. people in there worrying about their life being thrown away, like their entire lives. if you grow up in a jail that's where you 're going to keep going back, so i don't think that it's right for a kid to be in that situation. >> as we're preparing to leave baltimore, we hear of yet
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another shooting. no body this time, but the blood on the pavement is proof of the continuing cycle of violence. baltimore is a city that's still on the frontline of the war on drugs. it always has been - and in the time that we've spent here, we've spoken to people on all sides of that battle. we've heard the talk about the new strategies in place and the progress that's supposedly being made to make baltimore a healthier and safer city to live in. but we've also seen the impact of drug control policy on the streets, we've been to the crime scenes and spoken to people trapped in a cycle of violence, incarceration, and making a living selling drugs. when you walk through neighborhoods like this, it's hard not to feel that the legacy of the war these communities have been living through is so bad that rhetoric or anything short of radical change won't solve the problem. it feels like it simply could take decades for these communities to recover.
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>> there's a war going on. it's not balanced. it's a one-sided war. it's an attack. this is a crime that we've committed, and then we have to address this. we have to begin to say, "we're going to change this. we have to change it." >> but what i fear is that we'll reach a new plateau. a level of imprisonment that is still unconscionable and millions will continue to cycle in and out of our prison system. >> i just want to see my kids graduate. after i see that, they can take me, they can do what they want. and i'll fight, i'm gonna run, i'm gonna dodge, i'm gonna duck until i see that. >> and that's the name of the game: survival. that's the street code: survival by any means necessary.
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that are dead. the body count continues. on june 30 june 30th or to move or to push morsi out. they never endorsed this. they never gave the green light to the military to go burn this. r r you like morsi or not, that's not issue. it turned to violence and if we didn't have ballot boxes here in america.